NFL 

Draft Grades: NFC West

The NFC West might be about as good of an example as there is about how quickly things can change in the NFL. In 2010, the Seahawks made the playoffs at 7-9, and there was discussion about how the NFL should change it’s playoff seeding rules, and how a team with only 7 wins shouldn’t host a playoff game, yada, yada, yada. Then two years ago, the 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals all were legitimate NFC title contenders. Current day, the 49ers are a dumpster fire, and the Rams are forever flirting with 8-8. Let’s look and see what the teams did to improve through the draft:

Arizona Cardinals:

Round 1 Pick 29: Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
Round 3 Pick 92: Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M
Round 4 Pick 128: Evan Boehm, OL, Missouri
Round 5 Pick 167: Marqui Christian, S, Midwestern State
Round 6 Pick 205: Harlan Miller, CB, SE Louisiana

Analysis: The Cardinals entered the draft without a ton of needs, so they had the flexibility to take high upside gambles on prospects. This fits Bob Nkemdiche to a tee. Incredible physical talent, but off-field issues led to the former #1 HS recruit falling. If he hits, it’s a huge boom pick for Arizona. Brandon Williams is also a huge upside play. The runningback turned corner ran a 4.37 in Indianapolis. He’ll be a stash and develop player. Evan Boehm should contribute immediately, if not start. Marqui Christian is a D2 kid who played well at the NFLPA game. Christian will be a special teamer. Harlan Miller is another long, lengthy corner who could be a pick for the future.

Grade: B

Los Angeles Rams:

Round 1 Pick 1: Jared Goff, QB, California
Round 4 Pick 110: Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
Round 4 Pick 117: Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
Round 6 Pick 177: Temarrick Hemingway, TE, South Carolina State
Round 6 Pick 190: Josh Forrest, LB, Kentucky
Round 6 Pick 206: Mike Thomas, WR, Southern Mississippi

Analysis: For a team that truthfully is painfully mediocre, this draft doesn’t lead to a lot of optimism. They lost players in the offseason like: Jared Cook, James Laurinitis, Janoris Jenkins, and Chris Long. Their offense was the problem last year, so I understand the emphasis onthat. Goff was my top quarterback in this class. I don’t think he was worth selling the farm for, but I can’t knock a team going to get who they think will be their “guy”. Higbee has off field issues, but he’s a good tight end, and should replace Cook. Cooper was a nice value in the 4th. Hemingway is a solid receiver, but in no way a blocker. Forrest, who I didn’t like one bit, will provide a body and special teams help. Mike Thomas was a nice value here in the 6th, and could help Goff immediately. This grade could be entirely different in 3 years if Goff turns into a good starter, but as of now, meh.

Grade: C

San Francisco 49ers

Round 1 Pick 7: DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon
Round 1 Pick 28: Josh Garnett, OG, Stanford
Round 3 Pick 68: Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State
Round 4 Pick 133: Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU
Round 5 Pick 142: Ronald Blair, DL, Appalachian State
Round 5 Pick 145: John Theus, OT, Georgia
Round 5 Pick 174: Fahn Cooper, OT, Ole Miss
Round 6 Pick 207: Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech
Round 6 Pick 211: Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida
Round 6 Pick 213: Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State
Round 7 Pick 249: Prince Charles Iworah, CB, Western Kentucky

Analysis: For a roster as bad as the 49ers right now, the excess of picks is a benefit for them. Chip Kelly restrained himself to only two Pac 12 guys, so that was good. Buckner was a rock solid pick, he’ll start Day 1. Garnett again, super solid. They traded up for him, but they felt as though they had to. Redmond is an ACL guy, but he should be a solid addition. Rashard Robinson has tons of baggage, but a ton of upside and talent. Ron Blair will be another solid DL piece. He’s a nice value in the 5th as well. John Theus is probably a low end starter at tackle, so that was a decent find in the 5th. Fahn Cooper is probably a guard in the NFL, but should provide solid depth. Jeff Driskel is a total Chip Kelly QB, physical tools galore. Kelvin Taylor is a really solid pick, he could contribute quickly. Burbridge should be a solid receiver for a few years. I don’t know much about Iworah, but he runs fast so, shrugs.

Grade: B+

Seattle Seahawks:

Round 1 Pick 31: Germain Ifedi, OL, Texas A&M
Round 2 Pick 49: Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama
Round 3 Pick 90: C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
Round 3 Pick 94: Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
Round 3 Pick 97: Rees Odhiambo, OL, Boise State
Round 5 Pick 147: Quinton Jefferson, DL, Maryland
Round 5 Pick 171: Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
Round 6 Pick 205: Joey Hunt, C, TCU
Round 7 Pick 243: Kenny Lawler, WR, California
Round 7 Pick 247: Zac Brooks, RB, Clemson

Analysis: Ifedi is a major project at tackle, but apparently they’re going to start him at guard, where he started as a sophomore at A&M. He was a mild reach there, but I won’t kill them for it. Reed was a nice pick up, they traded up to get him, and he’ll be worth it. Prosise will be a nice addition to their backfield, as they’ll be looking to replace Marshawn Lynch. Vannett is also a nice piece, as he’s a good blocker to go along with being a capable receiver. Rees Odhiambo was injured this past season, if he’s healthy, he could be a starter. Quinton Jefferson is an upside play, but he flashed while at Maryland, more depth along the DL. Alex Collins was a guy a liked a good bit. He should get carries from the jump. Hunt will provide some depth and an actual offensive lineman along the OL, rather than converted defensive linemen. Lawler was a nice value pick late in the 7th, and I can’t speak on Brooks because he didn’t start while at Clemson.

Grade: B-

 

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Adams-Friendship Green Devil and Carroll University Pioneer for life. Aspiring to be great. @RieseDraft

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